New Zealand Embassy The Hague, The Netherlands
New Zealand Statement to the 15th Conference of States Parties to the Chemical Weapons Convention
Delivered on Monday 29 November 2010 by Ambassador George Troup, New Zealand's Permanent Representative to the OPCW
Thank you, Mr Chairman. We value the opportunity this general debate provides to voice
We listened with interest to Director-General Üzümcü’s opening address this morning, his first in his new role. He pointed to our shared goals: universal adherence, coupled with full and effective implementation of the Convention; the destruction of all existing chemical weapons; and maintenance of this position through an effective verification regime. The Director-General has signalled an increased emphasis on publicising the OPCW’s work. We support his efforts in this direction and see good opportunities to draw attention to the organisation’s achievements and future challenges in association with the International Year of Chemistry in 2011.
Since its entry into force, real progress has been made in expanding adherence to the Convention. The remaining States not Party will be difficult to bring on board. It will require the combined efforts of Member States and the Technical Secretariat to encourage those states still outside the Convention to recognise the benefits that membership offers for their own security, as well as the contribution that universal adherence will make to global peace and security.
National implementation of the Convention is fundamental to its effectiveness. The most recent reports from the Technical Secretariat show the progress towards full implementation is slow, especially in those states constrained by small bureaucracies and competing political priorities. In our own region, a workshop on national implementation for Pacific Island States was hosted by the Technical Secretariat and the Pacific Islands Forum in July, with funding from the
International cooperation and assistance activities are key elements of the Convention’s implementation. We appreciated the efforts of the International Cooperation and Assistance Division in organising last week’s Article XI workshop. This provided a useful opportunity to discuss the economic and technological development of States Parties in line with the provisions of the Convention. States Parties’ support for this aspect of the OPCW’s work is clearly shown by the steady increase in resources allocated to
At this Conference we are once again in the position of not yet having an agreed budget, with disagreement on the number of Article VI inspections the Technical Secretariat will undertake in 2011.
A credible and fair methodology of site selection remains fundamental to the OCPF inspection regime and we welcome the consultations led by the Dutch and Malaysian Ambassadors on this issue. We recognise that ongoing work on the issues that underlie industry inspections is required, but this is no reason to hold up progress in strengthening the verification regime.
As we approach destruction of all chemical weapons, monitoring and inspection of Other Chemical Production Facilities will make an increasingly important contribution to the OPCW’s non-proliferation goal. Substantive discussions in the Open-Ended Working Group on Terrorism have highlighted the potential role of non-state actors in proliferating chemical weapons. Moving beyond the focus on destruction activities will have obvious implications for the size and composition of the Technical Secretariat. This will be the context of the policy-making organs’ coming task to determine the organisation’s future direction. This week, let’s concentrate on agreeing to do what we can right now to enhance the Convention’s unique verification regime.
Mr Chairman, I wish you well in your important task, and pledge the full support of the